Saturday, June 11, 2011

Livestrong at the Y Green Lakes Triathlon Race Report

Here is the short version:

22/158 Females Overall
6/31 Female 35-39 Age Group
1st Female Cancer Survivor

Swim:  13:08 1:29/100 pace
T1: 1:14
Bike: 37:12 19.4 mph
T2:  :52
Run:  28:06 9:03/mi

The Long Version:

The Livestrong at the YMCA Green Lakes Triathlon is a race that I have wanted to do for a long time, but just haven't had the chance until today.  The last couple of years Kel raced it, and before that I didn't want to do it since I didn't have a full wetsuit.  This race is a special race for several reasons.  First it is run by the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, which I work for.  Not only do I work there, but the Y is just a special place, and I was really looking forward to racing what I felt like was "my" race. Secondly, all the proceeds go to benefit the Livestrong at the YMCA program at our Y, which is a physical activity and well-being program that addresses the special wants, needs and interests of cancer survivors. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is the result of a multi-year partnership between YMCA of the USA and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Being a cancer survivor myself, this is a program that I know is valuable to many men and women that are in the midst of their own battle with cancer. Thirdly, I had many athletes that I coach as well as friends from the Y that were racing today.

Obviously, I felt some pressure to perform well going into this race.  Let me say that this was pressure I put on myself.  I really was gunning to place in my age group, but even though that didn't happen today, it was a great race.  I had set a few goals for myself going in:
  • Bike HARD. 
  • Quick transitions.
  • Run like my life depended on it.
On the way to the race this morning, I was just thinking and four words came to me. "Today I will shine."  I decided to embrace these words, and realized that shining wasn't just about having a great race.  It actually became a challenge to me.

Of course challenges start in the most peculiar ways.  I got to the race site, went into my transition bag (my new TYR Transition Backpack...LOVE!), and discovered that I had left all my race numbers and bib at home!  I had put them on the bench next to my bag last night, and never actually put them into my bag.  I hurried over to race day packet pickup, and they did let me get my chip and get marked, but they had no extra bibs or bike numbers.  I got back to the car and called Kel.  He had already figured out what I had done, and was hustling the boys ready to go.  I took my stuff over to transition, and, after a little bit of wrangling with the very diligent volunteers, someone finally let me rack my bike.  All during this time I kept thinking about shining.  I did get the chance to snap a picture with some of my girls from the morning crew at the Y.

I went over to the lot where I was supposed to meet Kel and waited. I decided that if I wanted to get a swim warm-up in I needed to do it soon, since after I got my numbers from Kel I would still have to run all the way back to transition to put my numbers on the bike and helmet! So I got in the water which felt great.  Just as I came out, he pulled in, I grabbed the pack and ran back over to transition to finish up.  I had a few minutes to spare before the start, and Kel was able to get a pic of me and the boys.

Soon we were off!  I was in the second wave, but got right in the lead group since the swim waves were done by time.  I had a great swim despite the fact that some man in only tri shorts decided he wanted to lay on top of me the whole swim.  I tried to let him go and he just wouldn't leave me alone.  With about 300 yards to go, I kicked by and finally was rid of him.  It was cool to be one of the first people in my wave out of the water, but I much prefer waves according to age group, so I know who I'm racing and where I am in the race.

I had a quick transition to the bike, where I pushed harder than I have ever pushed in a race.  I knew it was risky, but this was the perfect opportunity to see what I had.  I passed a lot of people from the wave ahead of me.  I didn't get passed by any women, but did get passed by some of the faster male bikers from my wave.  There is one really straight flat portion of the bike course that I was hoping to really gain some speed on, but there was a nasty headwind there, so I actually had to fight to keep my average up there.  I let the hills come, although I'm pretty sure I would have scared a small child with my heavy breathing up the last hill!! I managed to maintain a 19.4 mph average which I am super pleased with.

Why is it that I always look so dorky when I am running?
Another speedy transition (less than a minute, thank you very much) and onto the run.  As I mentioned before, I had been thinking all week about this run.  I had basically decided to run like I was in danger and see how I did. Well, let's just say I hope that tiger that was chasing me was old and slow!! ;)  Actually, the run was hard, which means I was running about as fast as I could.  For where my run fitness is coming off a winter of sore heels and not as much running as I would like, I actually laid down a surprisingly fast run (for me).  I got passed by 4 women on the run, and the last one was the only one in my age group and it was at the very end! She ended up beating me by 10 seconds, but try as I might, I just couldn't hold on.

I like this picture because both of my feet are actually off the ground.
The last woman that passed me edged me right off the podium, since age group awards were given 5 deep.  But I still got an award as prizes were awarded to the first male and female cancer survivors. I am very proud of this award and dedicate this to all the people out there who are fighting this terrible disease

The medals were locally hand made glass medals.  I got a sneak peek at them last week and am so excited to add this beauty to my collection!

All in all, I had an outstanding day.  I raced with people I love, I cheered my athletes through the finish line, I smiled, I laughed, I shined.


  1. Wow! You did so awesome! You are such an inspiration!!
    I think I would have probably started crying if I had left my bib numbers at home! I'm glad Kel was able to get them for you before your race..woohoo!! Love the mantra, "Today I will shine!" LOVE IT!

  2. Congrats on a great race! Esp with the extra drama of forgetting your race numbers.

  3. Kelly that is SO AWESOME!!! Congratulations on a GREAT race!!! Way to go!! Miss you already!

  4. Great job out there and congrats! Sounds like a fun race!

  5. Awesome race report Kelly! And I absolutely love that they have a cancer survivor category! Too cool!

  6. Badass Kelly. And don't worry about the race pictures; they're never good no matter how hard you try when running past the photographer... and I've tried REALLY hard

  7. Great race report. Congrats on a very solid finish! The medal is cool, too!

  8. glad I took the time to read the "long" version. So worth the read, very excited you were able to "Shine" today, but please know that you shine everyday, as many people look up to you and are inspired by you :)


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